Sen. John Fetterman and the bravery in asking for help when you need it

When Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., checked himself into Walter Reed Medical Center for treatment for clinical depression, the first thing I thought was: Good for him. And then, wow: It’s hard to ask for help, to tell your boss that you need help and time off. It’s even harder for everyone else to know you need help when maybe you arent ready to talk about it.

I know this.

My mom killed herself almost 11 years ago.

On the fourth Thursday in April 2012, she jumped into the Grand Canyon.

My mom hadn’t told us she was suffering. She did so quietly, sometimes hidden behind a smile, sometimes busying herself with so many parties, trips and taking care of her grandchildren. Sometimes behind too big of a “hello.”

We didn’t know everything she was going through – she shared only tiny parts of her pain with different people in her life, and none of us knew the full picture or the extent.

One of her last notes to us read: “I was too proud to admit I needed help a very long time ago,” and “I believe I have been sick for a very long time and didn’t take care of me.”

It still hurts today to read that note. To share it.

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